We all know that reading is important. If you have a child, a doctor at some point probably told you to read stories aloud to them.
Hearing new stories helps young learners in so many ways. According to All4Kids.org, benefits include:
- Supported cognitive development
- Improved language skills
- Preparation for academic success
- Developing a special bond with your child
- Increased concentration and discipline
- Improved imagination and creativity
- Cultivating. lifelong love of reading
We can’t always be reading to our children. Aside from bedtime, it’s simply hard to squeeze in the time–and it can get monotonous to read the same story over and over.
That’s where Podcasts can come into play! Did you know there are thousands of podcasts for young kids and teens? The industry has grown so much, it goes well beyond a semi famous person talking about whatever they feel.
Considering September 30 is National Podcast Day, we thought we’d share a list of great podcasts for young students, teens and the whole family to enjoy together.
If you don’t know. Podcasts are free! You can find them on Spotify, Apple, Google or most podcasts have their own website with all episodes listed. Check out our recommendations below:
Podcasts for Young Kids
1. The Mayan Crystal
This is a very unique podcast in that it is a story series for tween-aged children.
Site description: “In the spirit of Mayan folklore, a twelve-year old Belizean girl accidentally invokes the evil spirit of an ancient enemy that threatens to consume the rainforest. With the help of her ancient ancestors, her sister, and her new friend, a 20- foot boa constrictor, she’ll go on a thrilling journey to save her village and discover the most incredible secret,” (The Mayan Crystal).
2. But Why?
If you’re a parent of a young child, you’ve heard this phrase probably more than you’d cared to by now. But, curiosity is such an important trait for children, and if we can just channel that energy into something educational, it would be so great for them–and parent’s sanity!
The But Why? Podcast delves into a new, interesting question each week. You’ll probably be learning right alongside your young student as you listen.
3. Aaron’s World
Depending on their age, there’s a good chance that your child is interested in dinosaurs. They may even know more facts than you do! If so, Aaron’s World is a great podcast to help them really dive in to the prehistoric dino world. Although the podcast is informational, focusing on one subject each episode, it also creates a bit of a story as you follow Aaron and his dad to new adventures.
4. The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl
Finding music that your child likes and you as the parent won’t hate can be…a challenge. While The Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl is a children’s music-based podcast, it won’t be much like CocoMelon playing on repeat. For example, did you know Johnny Cash wrote some children’s music? This dives into different songs from artists you as the parent will recognize, and the students will enjoy.
5. The Past & Curious
If you know of the famous Netflix series, Drunk History or even Adam Ruins Everything, this is a similar podcast, but made for kids. In The Past and The Curious podcast, each episode delves into an interesting event in history that children will enjoy hearing. They’ve even turned some of their episodes into picture books!
Podcasts for Teens
To our high school students: We know the above listed podcasts aren’t exactly your level of interest. So here’s a whole list of podcasts dedicated just for your entertainment and learning!
6. Stuff You Missed in History Class
There’s no unique website for this podcast. But you can find it on iHeart Radio, Spotify, Stitcher, Google and Apple Music. For a bit of an older audience compared to The Past and The Curious, this Podcast really dives into interesting, small bits of history you may not have picked up on in your regular history lessons. If strange facts and stories of the past are your vice, check out this podcast.
7. The Mortified Podcast
If you feel like an “awkward” person. Or if you’ve ever just had an embarrassing moment, it’s nice to know you’re not alone. The Mortified Podcast is a series of different adults who share their hilarious, but embarrassing moments that occurred to them as teens. It may even spark a fun conversation to hear your parent’s stories as well.
8. TED Talks
As the site description says: “TED Talks Daily brings you the latest talks in audio. Join host and journalist Elise Hu for thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable — from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between — given by the world’s leading thinkers and creators. With TED Talks Daily, find some space in your day to change your perspectives, ignite your curiosity, and learn something new.”
9. Teen Girl Talk
They aren’t teenagers. But the Cota sisters are hilarious, very relatable and feels like a safe space for a teen. As Teen Girl Talk podcast describes it, “Teen Girl Talk joins siblings Franklin and Susie Cota as they joyfully make their way through a menagerie of media made for teens. We’re talking movies, books, tv shows, music and more! Laugh and cry along with the Cota siblings with some bonkers teen media!”
This podcast does not have a unique site either, but is available through Spotify, Google and Apple Music.
For those interested in the paranormal, Spooked is a great, teen-friendly podcast to get started! Each episode is a new story from a person who witnessed what they can only describe as paranormal. You can listen and see for yourself if you believe it.
Podcasts for the Entire Family to Enjoy
11. Eleanor Amplified
Eleanor Amplified is a fun series for the whole family, available on Apple Music and Spotify. According to Whyy.org, “Eleanor Amplified is an adventure series for the whole family. Listen together as our hero, the world-famous radio reporter Eleanor Amplified, foils devious plots and outwits crafty villains, all in pursuit of the big story… Like all the public media shows you love, Eleanor Amplified is entertaining and informative. Eleanor will spark laughter and conversation the whole family will enjoy…”
12. Who Would Win?
For the superhero/action movie fan family, the Who Would Win podcast pits unlikely character matches against each other. For example, who would win in a fight between Batman and Hobbs & Shaw? Or more random, who would win between Sesame Street and The Muppet gang? It’s a fun debate to discuss as a family and will keep you entertained for sure.
13. Stuff You Should Know
For a more educational, but interesting podcast for the family, Stuff You Should Know is very similar to the more famous “How Stuff Works” series, but hits topics that are important, and entertaining. It’ll break down things like The Statue of Liberty, Free Speech and even alligators to help you all learn more and have something new to discuss at the dinner table for once.
There is no unique site for this podcast, but it is available on iHeart Radio, Spotify, Apple Music and Google.
14. Welcome to NightVale
Welcome to NightValue is a bit eerie, so it may not be for the very young students, depending on your child. But it is a great story that’ll grasp the interest of both the students and parents. Follow this story series together the way you might a TV show, and enjoy hearing a new tale–All for free, by the way.
15. Dream Big
While it may be a bit more centered around kids, Dream Big is for the whole family because it not only an avenue to help your students discover their potential passions and future careers, but it interviews famous people who made their dreams a success. And it’s really never too late to discover a new dream, even for parents!